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Plessy versus Ferguson (1897) established racial segregation in American constitutional law for over fifty years and its moral and political legacy lives on, despite attempts in the United States to counter its devastating effects since the 1950s. Ironically, in the current debate over affirmative action, Justice Harlan's eloquent dissent has been used to justify attacks on government affirmative action programmes.;In this book, five philosophers and constitutional theorists, working from very different theoretical positions, take a critical look at the moral and political principles underlying this historic decision and Harlan's dissent. They also explore the nature and extent of the law's complicity in perpetuating Plessy's racialist aims. Emerging from their varied but complementary analyses is a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the social injustice of racial segregation in its historic and contemporary forms and of resources of the law to reverse it.